Rep. Matt Gaetz said on Friday that House Republicans must lead a “fundamental reshaping” of the federal government to get Washington back on the side of the American people.
And Democrats who want to block that should be removed from the process.
The Florida Republican made the comments while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in suburban Washington, the largest annual gathering of conservative activists.
Part of Gaetz’s speech was devoted to discussing the House special subcommittee on “weaponization” of the federal government.
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Gaetz noted that GOP conservatives persuaded House Speaker Kevin Mccarthy to create the committee as part of the stand-off during the speaker’s election two months ago. Florida Republicans have a prominent presence on the committee, with Gaetz and Reps. Kat Cammack of Gainesville and Greg Steube are among the 12 Republicans on the panel.
During his remarks, Gaetz noted, “It seems like every time I turn around, they’re engaged in surveillance, or list-building, or monitoring. And I don’t care if it takes every second of our time and every ounce of our energy, We either get this government back on our side, or we defund, and get rid of, abolish the FBI, CDC, ATF, DOJ, every last one of them, if they do not come to heel.”
“I don’t think it’s too much to ask.”
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Gaetz noted that FBI whistleblowers have contributed to exposing how much the feds targeted everyday people as “domestic extremists” for raising issues at local school board meetings or expressing support online for the Second Amendment or building the wall along the southern border.
He said FBI leaders in Washington pressured agents in the rest of the country to open cases on such people “so that there would be the veneer, the illusion, the appearance that all of our fellow Americans, that are neighbors were somehow extreme and trying to overthrow our government, when in fact that’s not the case.”
Gaetz noted that Democrats on the special subcommittee seek to thwart uncovering that. This week, he said, Democrats launched a smear campaign against one whistleblower by leaking select parts of testimony to paint him as an anti-vax conspiracy theorist.
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“It is no longer time to go back to the old, low energy Paul Ryan, Trey Gowdy days of fake oversight,” said Gaetz. “These are the Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz days, and if the Democrats are going to obstruct our investigation, then I am calling to remove the Democrats from our investigation.”
Republicans, he added, want to conduct “thorough, rigorous” oversight of the government. “I don’t believe that means hearings where we yell at people,” he said. “I think that means a fundamental reshaping of this government, a reshaping of this town.”
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